The Associated Press
Donald R. Mickler Jr. worked hard to get into the Army and worked hard to be a good soldier.
Part of what motivated him was a desire to get out of his hometown, Dayton, Ohio, and avoid being influenced by people he knew who were not progressing.
“He realized his parents couldn’t send him to college, so the military was a good option for him,” his great-uncle, Roy Hollis, told the Dayton Daily News. “He very easily could have been a casualty of the streets, but he was determined not to be caught in Dayton.”
Mickler, an athlete who participated in varsity track, football and wrestling, started training for the military as a student at Trotwood-Madison High School, Hollis said. He graduated in 1999 and joined the Army the same year…
Mickler, 29, was one of 10 children. He leaves behind a 3-year-old son in Germany.